Three Warre Hives



Principles for sustainable beekeeping

  • a hive that retains nest scent and heat.

• minimal use of high embodied energy materials in hive construction (e.g. plastics,

metals, glues, paints)

• a colony density supportable by the forage within range of the apiary

• good flower forage diversity

• bees winter on fully ripe honey from a wide range of flowers

• sugar fed only in emergency and only when no honey is available

• absolute minimum intervention (e.g. a maximum of two openings of the top of

the hive per year)

• no artificial swarming, i.e. no forcing of emergency requeening to make


• no artificial queen breeding (work with queens raised under the swarm


• comb built as freestyle as possible (i.e. no starter strips), subject only to local


• no manipulation of colony size (artificial brood spreading etc.)

• locally adapted bees

• beekeeper shares the honey crop with the bees

• no reuse of comb

• no antibiotics

• conditions for co-evolution of bee with pests (Varroa, small hive beetle) preserved,

i.e. minimal or no pesticide use (fluvalinate, tymol, organic acids)

• no spring stimulatory feeding

• no feeding pollen substitutes

• minimisation of fossil fuel energy consumption (e.g. apiaries within walking or

cycling distance)

Warre (The peoples ) Hive

We are looking into the use of Warre top bar hives instead of conventional national or commercial hives. These top bar hives recreate a more natural environment for the bees.Less honey but more wax is extracted and the bees are disturbed only once or twice a year. It is one of the bee keeping methods that meet some of the sustainability criterea outlined above.  Keep track of our progress on this page.


minutes after the bees were introduced to a new hive